Downes on Lambert, boosted confidence, taking responsibility and adding goals to his game

PUBLISHED: 06:00 28 December 2018

Flynn Downeshas been a mainstay of the Ipswich midfield under Paul Lambert. Picture Pagepix

Flynn Downeshas been a mainstay of the Ipswich midfield under Paul Lambert. Picture Pagepix

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ANDY WARREN spoke to Flynn Downes about playing under Ipswich boss Paul Lambert, expressing himself and having confidence in the relegation fight.

Flynn Downes slides into a tackle at Loftus Road on Boxing Day Picture PagepixFlynn Downes slides into a tackle at Loftus Road on Boxing Day Picture Pagepix

How big a blow was the QPR defeat, given you’re now seven points adrift?

FD: Yeah, it’s a bit of a blow but all the boys and all the staff are still positive.

We’re still in the fight and when January comes and the gaffer gets some new players in we’ll go from there.

Do you think you are a squad who can string a few results together?

FD: Yes, 100 per cent.

Obviously we lost 3-0 (at QPR) but I don’t think that reflected the game. We had a lot of the ball and had them on the back foot second half, which says a lot about us and the way we play.

Ipswich manager Paul Lambert has brought added confidence to Downes' game.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMIpswich manager Paul Lambert has brought added confidence to Downes' game. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

It’s positive.

You must feel for Jon Nolan after his mistake for the first goal?

FD: That’s football.

Anything can happen. I did it earlier on in the season (at Hull) and I know how it feels. You just have to look forward and go again.

Does he have enough about him to play Championship football?

FD: Definitely. All of the new lads have been unbelievable and I think when the gaffer’s come in he’s got everyone playing which makes it that bit easier. I think everyone’s playing well at the minute.

Downes believes Jon Nolan will bounce back from his error at QPR. Picture PagepixDownes believes Jon Nolan will bounce back from his error at QPR. Picture Pagepix

The gaffer’s shown his faith in you since he’s arrived. You must be delighted…

FD: Personally I’m buzzing because this is the best football I’ve played in a long time, especially at first team level.

I’m very thankful for him and all his staff for the trust they have put in me.

For any player it makes a difference when you get a run of games, doesn’t it?

FD: Match fitness and little things like that are very important.

When you’re on the bench you lose a lot of fitness, sharpness, so playing a lot of games does help.

Downes is pleased to see Jack Lankester's hard work paying off. Picture PagepixDownes is pleased to see Jack Lankester's hard work paying off. Picture Pagepix

I feel a lot stronger and a lot better in myself and I think the gym sessions we’re doing are great.

Are you enjoying the style of football the manager’s playing?

FD: Absolutely loving it.

I think I’m speaking on behalf of all the boys when I say that. Everyone’s so positive now and we go into games believing we will win.

We went into the QPR game thinking we were definitely going to win and we have that mindset.

The table is a tough one to take but we can’t let the table dictate how we feel.

Downes, pictures with Luke Woolfenden, Andre Dozzell and Tristan Nydam during pre-season. Picture: STEVE WALLERDownes, pictures with Luke Woolfenden, Andre Dozzell and Tristan Nydam during pre-season. Picture: STEVE WALLER

He seems to take the pressure off you?

FD: He does and he’s a pleasure to play for.

There’s not pressure out there. Mistakes happen and he lets us play with freedom.

That’s the key with getting the best out of your players.

The manager says it’s maybe unfair the young players have so much responsibility…

FD: We are young players but we need to step up to the mark.

Downes has made 16 appearances so far this season.    Picture: STEVE WALLER     WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COMDownes has made 16 appearances so far this season. Picture: STEVE WALLER WWW.STEPHENWALLER.COM

We’re one team and it doesn’t matter how old you are, you have to step up and perform.

There isn’t a lot of pressure on us. We go out and play with freedom and enjoy the responsibility.

How big a loss is Cole Skuse?

FD: Cole is experienced and knows how to play the game having done it for so many years, so obviously he’s a big loss at the minute.

We just have to keep going.

How pleasing is it to see Jack Lankester, another academy player, developing over the last couple of months?

FD: Jack puts in a lot of hard work so it was always going to happen.

You can tell by watching him that he’s lively, nippy and sharp so he’s got a big future ahead of him.

What about goals? You need to start chipping in, don’t you Flynn?

FD: I know, I know. My mum tells me every week that I have to score and I do try to be fair.

They’re coming… one day.

The gaffer says to me and Jon Nolan, because we’re playing higher in midfield, that we need to get into the box and get shots off. I’m working on it.

Do you feel you are a few players away from being a side capable of pushing up the division?

FD: I think the squad we have is very good but we didn’t have the best start which has impacted us a little bit.

But in January, if we can strengthen up a few areas, then we can get some help and be fine.

How would you feel if new midfielders were signed in January?

FD: As long as it improves the team then I’m happy.

You don’t think seven points is too much?

FD: No. The changing room after the QPR game was still very positive and it’s football, anything can happen.

Mistakes at any level will cost you so we need to cut them out.

How do you view this next game at Middlesbrough?

FD: We’re a good team, we can use the ball and we know what we’re doing.

We won’t go there with any fear and we’ll go there believing we can get the three points.

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